Monday, 17 September 2012

Musings Monday (Revisited): OMG vs Meh

OMG vs Meh

When I first started my blog, I started to write my Musings posts - thoughts of a nearly 40-year-old about style, age, body image... you get my drift. This is the second one I thought I'd share with you as I didn't do much to promote my blog during my shy blogging days.

So here's another Musing Revisited... hope you like it :)

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'Not Dressed As Lamb'.

That's what I hope I am at the ripe-old age of 39*. I'm also trying not to be predictable mutton either. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a great believer in women of all ages being able to wear whatever they like (as long as it doesn't harm or deeply offend anyone). And I also believe in making the most of what you've got, whether you're a nubile 18 year old or a 40-something cougar.

And while I love - no, adore - reading gossip/celebrity magazines, where I drool over the "Best Dressed" pages and, likewise, recoil in enjoyable horror at the "What Were They Thinking" ones overleaf, I can't help but feel differently when out on the street and seeing women in similar attire. In the past I've found myself judging other women on what they're wearing, but what right do I have to do this? They may well have taken as much time over their appearance as I did that morning, and left the house feeling a million dollars.

It's this feeling that I think every woman should work towards achieving as a direct result of her chosen outfit every day, whether or not the trained eye of a stylist thinks the result looks like Audrey Hepburn reincarnate or a downright mess. If she loves what she's wearing, feels great, then who cares? The fact that her outfit makes her happy is the main thing.

Case in point: Su Pollard. I think she looks bloody amazing.

OMG vs Meh - Su Pollard

Image Source: PacificCoastNews

I know, you're thinking: OH - MY - GOD. I used to think that too, until recently.

The eccentric English actress has always dressed as madly as this, and if you've never seen or heard of her before then all you need to know is Su Pollard was the Lady Gaga of her day. Why on earth would I publish a photo on a fashion blog of someone looking like the teen section of Chelsea Girl had thrown up on her? Well, I also used to think she was a walking fashion disaster. During the 80s, whilst I was wearing my white stilettos, electric blue jumpsuit and matching mascara, I wondered how she could even leave the house in the most uncoordinated, migraine-inducing ensembles I'd ever seen. But now that I'm older (and a little bit more tolerant) I can see that bloody hell - she's always looked happy. And didn't seem to care what anyone else thought.

Think how much time and effort went into that outfit. That's not an outfit that just happened to be whatever was to hand that morning - she went all out, guns blazing, I'm-gonna-rock-the-striped-socks-fur-and-feathers-look today. The contents of her wardrobe must be to fashion what Willy Wonka was to chocolate: tacky, over the top and absolutely delicious (in a bonkers way). You've got to hand it to the woman - she accessorises beautifully with all the confidence in the world. And it's not a one-off, this is her whole raison d'ĂȘtre.

Now you're probably still thinking, I don't care, it's still O-M-G. Well, at least it's not 'meh'.
Plain old, boring, lifeless... meh. You know, the outfits where there's no thought, no care, no effort, just total apathy. With unattended-to hair and make-up to match. They're the women I see on the street that I want to drag into the nearest department store and allow to run amok, be free, have a fling with an orange and cerise striped kaftan, tickle the fancy of those cerulean glitter platform wedges, and never darken the door of apathy ever again. Personally, I prefer O-M-G to meh.

Bloggers write blogs because they have something to say. Something they're passionate about. Something they love. So next time you read a nasty, spiteful comment on someone's blog (or, god forbid, think about posting one), think about Su. Deliriously happy in her outrageous colours and fluffy accessories. Is there a single ounce of happiness coming through those nasty words you see on your screen?


CATHERINE Signature - SMALL

*I have turned 40 since originally writing this post :)

18 comments:

  1. I was never shocked by people dariness, but inspired from an early age, but I understand very well what you are talking about.
    Great post, dear Catherine.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  2. Here here. Happiness and passion keep you young I say! Keep the musings coming - they're good!! xxxx

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    1. I just wish I had her conference lol ill be A BIG 40 Next week eel!I've.always dressed casual unless on a night out I was a young mum to 4 daughters now a young Nannie to 4 amazing granddaughters I don't want to embares them plaza help me with some fashion tips for a 40 years young women thanks I'm advance xxxx

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  3. I so agree with you on this! I actually wrote pretty much the same comment on someone else's blog today, but I'll say it again: I think how you feel in what you wear is so much more important than how you look. (As long as it's appropriate to the occasion, not offensive, etc.) Anyone who wears an outfit like the one pictured above is probably having way more fun than anyone who is judging her for wearing it.

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  4. You have perfectly documented my judgmental attitude- I used to be a 'what on earth is she wearing??' type. I dressed so 'appropriately' that I'm sure anyone seeing me probably had the urge to lie down for a nap. Total snooze. Once I realized you could have fun with clothes, started reading style blogs, and saw the joy on Advanced Style, I stopped judging people for being creative and bold with their clothes. I think nasty commenters are people so wrapped up in making sure everyone stays in line and follows the rules that they feel threatened when someone doesn't. When I dressed boringly bad (I'm still no style adventurer, but much better than I was) people like Su made me anxious- I knew I was missing something (creativity, freedom, joy, expression? all of those?). I love the internet for bringing us more variety in style- this is the first time I've seen or heard of Su Pollard, so thank you for this, Catherine.

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    1. Thank you, SE - a really well observed and thoughtful comment...! xo

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  5. I agree, be free be bold, that's my motto! I usually wear bold interesting unique items, but always what I love! Great post dear. Hope you're having a fab start of the week. xx/Madison

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  6. I think the lesson here is "It's better to be looked over than overlooked." How many women do themselves a disservice by just fading into the background of life? Not saying we all need to get a pair of rainbow striped stockings, but a swipe of bright lipstick, a sparkly pair of earrings. We are all beautiful and deserve to be noticed and appreciated! So in the vein of Anna Piaggi and Iris Apfel, I hope to never just try to look pretty, but to be true to myself and my personality by breaking the mold and wearing that loud, brash, slightly offensive, yet oh-so-lovely pink sequined scarf! I applaud her!!!

    Thanks for posting, Catherine. This reminds us that fashion is an art form and we should damn well paint that canvas!!!

    ~Sarah

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  7. I love it, at least she took time and thought about her outfit and shows her crazy personality through clothing. I would take originality any day over boring copying someone else. I can't tell you how many times I hear only Carrie would wear that and that makes me feel good because I am being me and not worrying about other people. Love this post and your Original style:)
    Carrie

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  8. Thanks for writing this...and for appreciating Su!

    <3 Cambria
    jupefashion.blogspot.com

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  9. Well, I definitely don't want to be "meh", but then I'm not sure I can go for the full OMG every day. It feels like a lot of energy, but I know there are times when my outfits are more cringe-worthy than wow! Great post! Lots to think about for sure.

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  10. I'll take a look that visually stimulates me over boring any day!

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  11. "Well, at least it's not 'meh.'" <- I am so in love with that sentence right there!
    Great post, Catherine! xo

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  12. Such a brilliant post Catherine. I so agree with you. Give me omg over meh any day!

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  13. Why would anyone bother leaving a nasty comment? I LOVE tour attitude and SU's positive persona! What a GREAT example you both set!
    XOXO
    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:
    http://psbananas.com

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  14. I LOVE this post SO MUCH. THANK YOU for saying this.

    As I get older, I am developing more courage to take risks in my dress, and when I am very old, I want to dress in the future equivalent of Rick Owens or Yohji Yamamoto or Gareth Pugh don't-mess-with-me edgy but current/new outfits that do not show skin but are definitely not quietly hiding away while waiting to die, like we're told we should be (well, that's how it feels anyway!). I want to wear that stuff now, at least sometimes (not all the time -- I like different clothes for different moods, occasions, etc). For example, I enjoy wearing high heels for evenings out and when I don't have to walk, but if I am going to be walking a lot, I want to be comfortable, but I don't feel good in boring invisible clothes, so one of my challenges to myself currently is to experiment with clothes for walking (e.g. if I am doing a lot of window shopping and wandering about) that are moving in the direction of the look I mentioned above, if not yet all the way there. For example, I have some fantastic flat boots that have an edge, from AllSaints (only to find similar ones for a small fraction of the price in Peacocks or somewhere dirt cheap), and I am determined to make an outfit from an old grey wool Army blanket that my father had when he was in the Army before I was born (i.e., 50 years ago). My edgy modern don't-mess-with-me outfit ideas are most definitely going to horrify/amuse people every bit as much as Su Pollard's bonkers happy look does, but you know what? The more people have the courage to wear what they want to wear, the less rigid clothing prescriptions and proscriptions become -- the more free each individual becomes to dress how they want to dress. And that is a good thing.

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